S    ince you are reading this,                                                                     you are probably conce...
photos. Have a play area for          Some are low and can be              Native grasses are also    children.           ...
little bluestem (Schizachyrium                The willow oaks (Quercus phellos)   fruit for wildlife. Other large    scopa...
sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia                                                If you devote part of that    virginiana), mul...
glamorous, but both elements                    Making room for a brush pile    are necessary for birds and will          ...
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Landscaping One Acre For Wildlife

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Since you are reading this, you are probably concerned about the challenges facing wildlife today. There are many threats to species survival,
including loss of habitat from development, the overuse of pesticides, and formal landscaping that offers little in the way of cover or food for
birds and animals.

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Landscaping One Acre For Wildlife

  1. 1. S ince you are reading this, you are probably concerned Landscaping about the challenges facing wildlife today. There are many threats to species survival, One Acre including loss of habitat from development, the overuse of pesticides, and formal For Wildlife landscaping that offers little in the way of cover or food for birds and animals. For more nature habitat information A Plants Home Visit these helpful websites: A Birds Home Four Elements A Homesteaders Home Wildlife has four essential needs: food, water, cover, and space. Evaluate your yard and note which needs are already being met, and which ones you want to add. A simple sketch of your property will be very helpful. In addition to existing structures and natural features, make a note of your soil conditions, amount of sunlight, how much rainfall you usually receive, the direction of the prevailing winds, and what climate zone you live in. Your local Cooperative Extension Service can be very helpful in obtaining this information. Also take time to think about your personal interests. Do you want to enhance a certain view. Take If you are lucky enough to have an acre of land around your home, how do you begin to enhance your property for wildlife.© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 1 A Plants Home
  2. 2. photos. Have a play area for Some are low and can be Native grasses are also children. walked on, like thyme (Thymus excellent choices for larger vulgaris) or Corsican mint areas, providing food and cover The plan’s selections rely (Mentha requienii). Others fill an as well as all-season interest. heavily on “native" plants area with more texture and Our habitat plan includes because experience has shown height, such as juniper panic grass (Panicum that they are best-suited for (Juniperus horizontalis) and dichotomiflorum), but there are the wildlife with which they have lavender (Lavandula many others including buffalo evolved. These plants also tend angustifolia). grass (Buchloe dactyloides), to be hardier and less dependent on chemicals than more exotic species. However, there are also many One Acre Habitat Design non-native choices which are good for wildlife, and your final landscape should reflect what is pleasing to you. Although they aren’t commonly used by the average person today, the Latin names of plants are included to avoid confusion. "Popular" names can vary greatly for the same plant, and you will have more success researching and buying exactly what you want if you can refer to the scientific name. For most people, “space" brings to mind open areas, frequently carpeted with green lawn. While mowed grass can make a pleasant frame around a house, it is of little value to wildlife and should be limited. Less lawn will also mean less dependence on herbicides and less work and expense for you. Groundcovers offer many alternatives to traditional lawn, and often work more effectively on difficult sites. They can supply benefits to wildlife and visual interest to the landscape.© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 2 A Plants Home
  3. 3. little bluestem (Schizachyrium The willow oaks (Quercus phellos) fruit for wildlife. Other large scoparium), blue grama and pin oak (Q. palustris) will trees with changing foliage and (Bouteloua gracilis), and Indian produce acorns for a variety of food value are the sugar maple ricegrass (Oryzopsis animals and fall color for you. (Acer saccharum), persimmon humenoides). (Diospyros virginiana), and The black gum (Nyssa hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). The trees shown in our plan sylvatica) and sweet gum were chosen for their value to (Liquidambar styraciflua) also wildlife as well as their beauty. offer autumn color as well as Group Evergreens Evergreen trees, especially when planted in groups, provide excellent winter cover for wildlife and, when positioned correctly, RECOMMENDED PLANTS a windbreak for your property. The seeds supply food for birds, The following suggested plants are a very small sampling of and evergreens add color and possibilities. For additional suggestions, consult guidebooks, structure to the landscape a nature center or extension service, local nurseries, or the after deciduous trees have lost Internet. their leaves. Our plan has stands of white pine (Pinus GROUND COVERS strobus) and red cedar Sedum spp. Stonecrop .............................................. (Juniperus virginiana) along the Dwarf spruce......................................... Picea pungens property line in several places. Cotoneaster .......................................... horizontalis C. Periwinkle ................................................. spp. Vinca As in nature, you will be most Lily-of-the-Valley .................................. Convallaria majalis successful in attracting a Sweet woodruff .................................... Galium odoratum variety of wildlife – and find that the view is most pleasing to the eye – if you concentrate SHRUBS Cornus racemosa on diversity. As you choose Gray dogwood ....................................... plants, include a range of Winterberry ............................................ verticillata Ilex Autumn olive..........................................Osmanthus americanus heights, shapes, bloom times, Viburnum prunifolium Blackhaw ................................................ seeds and fruits, evergreen and Southern bayberry .............................. Myrica cerifera deciduous species. This will Wild rose ................................................. plaustris Rosa ensure that there are lots of Raspberries and blackberries natural nesting sites plus food and cover throughout the year. FAVORITE FLOWERS FOR HUMMINGBIRDS AND BUTTERFLIES: Lantana camara Lantana .................................................. Food and Flowers Cosmos sulphureus Cosmos ................................................... With the intention of varying Pentas lanciolata Pentas ..................................................... heights, a number of smaller Joe-Pye weed......................................... Eupatorium spp. trees are included in our sample Purple coneflower ................................. Echinacea purpurea landscape. There are many Butterfly weed ...................................... Asclepias tuberosa types of apples and crabapples Butterfly bush ......................................Buddleia from which to choose, all of Cardinal flower ...................................... Lobelia cardinalis which will give you lovely spring Monarda didyma Bee balm ................................................. flowers as well as fruit. Birds Scarlet sage .........................................Salvia coccinea will delight in the berries of© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 3 A Plants Home
  4. 4. sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia If you devote part of that virginiana), mulberry (Morus “A good hollow tree space to sunflowers rubra), and mountain ash is almost worth its (Helianthus), you will delight (Sorbus americana). weight in wildlife and birds of all kinds. is a resource well Shrubs create still other Black-eyed Susans worth preserving." levels in the landscape, and (Rudbeckia) and goldenrod ours have been chosen primarily (Solidago) also have seedheads – Roger Holmes for the berries that they Natural Gardening that will attract feathered produce. Some will persist into visitors to your yard. winter to provide valuable cold- weather food for wildlife. and movement that a meadow provides. Set Up Feeding Station Vines are another valuable When planning for birds, save resource for berries, nectar, and Since wildflower meadows are space for feeders of different nesting sites. Grapes are shown mowed only once a year, be sure kinds and place them at covering an arbor, but if you that there are no zoning different heights. Black oil have a fence, dead trees, or restrictions where you live. sunflower seed is the favorite trellises you can attract all-around food, but there are hummingbirds with coral Adding paths, fences, and other types of seed and honeysuckle (Lonicera benches to the "wilder" part of nectars that are also popular. sempervirens), yellow jasmine a landscape can make it look (Gelsemium sempervirens), or more groomed and acceptable There are many field guides cross vine (Bignonia to neighbors used to a available in your library or capreolata). manicured yard. bookstore that can provide information on the birds that When it comes to flowers, the Growing your own vegetables you want to attract, as well as choices are nearly limitless. is satisfying on many levels. other wildlife and the plants Depending on the amount of There is joy in working a garden that grow in your backyard time that you want to spend on that produces fresh food for habitat. your garden, you can choose your family. annuals, which die back in Many birds have specific winter, or perennials which come nesting requirements, so nest back every year. Many flowers "By paying more boxes should be built for a are especially attractive to attention to how particular species and mounted butterflies and hummingbirds, nature does things, we appropriately. With the decline while others have seedheads can enrich our gardens in natural nesting cavities, that will attract songbirds. with some of the grace these boxes are important. and endurance of wild Bluebirds in particular have places while being Try Wildflowers been brought back from a severe kinder to the One of the best ways to decline in numbers by the attract a variety of wildlife is to environment and less increase in man-made nest plant a wildflower meadow, wasteful of nature’s boxes. especially if you include native resources and our own warm season grasses. There are efforts." seed mixtures for every climate Dirt is Good – Roger Holmes zone, and you will be amazed by Natural Gardening Adding grit and dust areas the changing picture of color nearby may not sound very© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 4 A Plants Home
  5. 5. glamorous, but both elements Making room for a brush pile are necessary for birds and will and a rock pile, as well as a be appreciated. stack of logs, will provide cover all year long for many small Always be sure to provide a animals. You can keep these tree within 5 to 15 of a house shelters at the edge of your or feeder so that the birds can property, shielded by attractive escape predators. To cut down vegetation. on annoying flying insects, add a bat house to your plan. These flying mammals consume huge Must Have Water numbers of mosquitoes. Water is necessary for all wildlife, and there are many Along one side of the plan ways to provide it. are features that you might not see in the typical suburban Birdbaths are easy and yard, but which will definitely decorative accents, and enhance the wildlife-friendly especially useful if they are habitat. heated in winter when many natural water sources are More than 40 species of frozen. birds and 20 kinds of animals make use of dead trees Small ponds will attract a (snags) which are becoming variety of creatures, and should more and more scarce as have rocks and shallow spots natural areas get developed. for resting and sunning safely. Deeper parts of a pond allow If you have some on your you to grow water plants. property, leave them. If they Moving water, whether from a represent a danger to people fountain or simple drip system, or a building, move them to a is the most attractive to safer location. wildlife. This article was written by Maryland Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist Cathy Gilleland. For more information or for the name of a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist in your area, please contact: WindStar Wildlife Institute E-mail: wildlife@windstar.org http://www.windstar.org WindStar Wildlife Institute is a national, non-profit, conservation organization whose mission is to help individuals and families establish or improve the wildlife habitat on their properties.© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 5 A Plants Home

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